Ni-Hao from China

May 25, 2010
At the USA Pavilion at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai Ni-Hao.  I’m blogging from the USA Pavilion at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, China.  This is an absolutely phenomenal development.  The Chinese and the participating countries have spent over $58 billion to stage this mega-event.  It is, without doubt, the finest thing I’ve ever seen in terms of expos and world fairs.  I attended the World’s Fair in 1939 at the age of seven.  I don’t remember much about it, but it was a big deal in my life at the time.

It’s wonderful to see China investing so much money in travel and tourism and it is becoming one of the world’s most compelling destinations.  We were the only hotel company to participate in the USA Pavilion and I’m excited and honored that our name is here where millions of Chinese will be able to see the Marriott name and think about us as they travel the world.

In fact, we think that China will host 2.1 billion domestic and international tourists this year and within the next 10 years, China will be the world’s largest single source of international tourism and the number one travel destination in the world.  We hope to get a lot of Chinese visitors to our hotels in the United States.  We want our government to understand that when we sell a room in the U.S. to a person from China, that’s an export.  It’s not really understood very well that way so we have to do everything we can to help the Chinese get visas so they can come to the United States, spend their money and we can hire people to help resolve this terrible unemployment situation we have at home.

Marriott is continuing to grow and expand rapidly here in China.  In fact, China is our largest market outside of North America and we expect to have 60 hotels in this great country open by the end of this year.  On top of that, we expect to double our overall presence in China within the next five years by adding more hotels from brands like The Ritz-Carlton, Marriott Hotels, JW Marriott, Renaissance and Courtyard, and maybe, someday, even Fairfield Inn.

With more and more guests expected to visit this country in the coming years, it’s so important that we have a variety of hotels in many different places throughout the country to meet the needs of so many different travelers.  That’s why we decided to be sponsors here at the USA Pavilion.  We want to introduce ourselves to this great country and to the people that are going to be traveling the world in the years ahead.

China is a beautiful nation.  I hope you’ll all have a chance to visit and experience everything it has to offer.

I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.

Ni-Hao from China

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I couldn't agree more regarding no presence in South Africa - I have been a Platinum member for many years and now my business travels have taken me to SA for months on end where I would normally stay in a Marriott. So now I am traveling and staying away from home more but not able to keep my status or stay in the wonderful Marriott hotels. There have been several people who have commented on this but no reply from Bill or anyone else at Marriott.

I just returned to the USA after spending several weeks in Asia. I primarily stayed in Starwood hotels because of their loyalty program. I have a half million Marriott Points & have only been able to redeem twice in the past 5 years because of unavailability. I also get very frustrated with the new website. It is very time consuming. I did stay at the JW Marriott in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last week. My plan was 2 nights there & 2 nights at the Westin (right next door). The hospitality I received at that property was EXCEPTIONAL. From the moment I checked in to the moment I checked out it had to be one of the most hospitable & memorable stays I have ever had. I never made it next door to the Westin! Thanks so much to the entire staff!!

In a time that the world is in South Africa I cannot believe there is not one Marriott in South Africa. What a miss-representation of your business and my family. Yes, I see Marriott as my family because this is where I stay when we are away from home. Get it together!

Dear Bill,
Congratulations on the Marriott growth and expansion in China and on the foresight plus wise decision to participate in the expo and be the only hotel sponsor at the USA pavilion. Also Japan has loosened its tourist viss rules for China, so now we see lots of Chinese tourists here in Japan who are helping raise the occupancy rates of hotels here in this country. I am sure they too will catch up on the Marriott Rewards program and become loyal Marriott guests and timeshare owners in the future.
All the best,

Dear Mr Marritt: I like your hotels, and stay your hotel often. However, your website is not friendly to book hotels. I have provided my comments about your website a couple of times, but have never seen the improvement. The video flush loading time is so long that it is so frustration. Sometimes my PC is frozen by your web, and I have to force my PC turn off . It is difficult to make reservation through your web than before, and I have to book hotels outside Marriott group because their web is easy to use. I hate to write here to get your help, but I cannot get the problem resolved by conducting your people... Could you let your ID people to make the web easier to use, such as reduce the flush/video on the first page to make it faster? Thank you

Dear Mr. Marriott,
I appreciate your upbeat views
on Communist China. Let's hope that the Marriott influence will encourage the country to open more, be more forthcoming about internal matters, not imprison outspoken citizens, get real about capitalism, cease its awesome military buildup, and use its power to curtail its rogue ally, North Korea. More power to you!
On a different matter, since I am an investor/owner in Marriott and Ritz Carlton properties, I'd be grateful for your review of something
styled "destination clubs". These in my view reduce the prestige and dignity of the
Residence Clubs since the destination people are blended in with the owners of a fixed location: in my case, San Francisco. Please assure us that the transient and tourist nature of "destination" people will be treated wholly separately from the permanent Residence owners. I'd be happy to elaborate.
Good luck!
Most sincerely yours,
F. Roy Lockheimer

Dear Bill,

Just a thought after I sent you my post.

Are there any pictures from the 2010 Expo on the Marriott website? I tried the 2010 World Expo link and the page didn't load.



Dear Bill,

Ni-Hao. That's a great piece. China is one of the most important economic partners today and will be in the future. Someday I hope I will get to go to China and stay at a Marriott there.

Thanks for the update.

Kind regards,

Doug Weller
San Francisco

I have the opportunity to visit China at least once a year for many years and enjoy the Marriott hospitality and great service. I managed to stay at a full service Marriott property in most Chinese major cities visited, in fact having multiple choices in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong to include J W Marriott, Renaissance other full service Marriott Hotels. The hospitality of Chinese people and Marriott Management offer a unique excellence in service and facilities. I met a number of the General Managers in China to provide my feed back which was welcome. Shanghai has some great General Managers including Meng, Jurgen and Michael. My favorite food and beverage manager Christian was working with Meng recently. Syed T. A. Naqvi Platinum Emeritus

I love China! I had the opportunity to have dinner in Shanghai with friends in their condo in the fabulous Marriott Hotel in 2005.The Hotel and their residence were fabulous. The Marriott Hotels are the best. Congratulations!!

This is great! I can feel the excitement in your words. 60 hotels is a really good number.

<3 from Fresno, CA.